Wildlife species discovery: More than 300 new species in the Philippines discovered (Photos)

By on Jun 26, 2011 in Amazing, Animals, Asia, Science, United States, World Comments

More than 300 new species in the Philippines were reportedly discovered by a group of researchers and scientists during their first ever biological expedition in the country, with some of them shown in the photos below.

As noted by California Academy of Sciences on its official website on Friday, June 24, 2011, the expedition which was funded by Margaret and Will Hearst, was the most comprehensive scientific effort ever conducted in the Philippines, documenting both terrestrial and marine life forms from the tops of the highest mountains to the depths of the sea.

Researchers and scientists were reportedly joined by more than two dozen colleagues from the Philippines, as well as by a team of Academy educators who significantly worked to share the expedition’s discoveries with local community and conservation groups.

Over the course of the expedition, scientists discovered more than 300 species that are likely new to science, including dozens of new insects and spiders, deep-sea armored corals, ornate sea pens, bizarre new sea urchins and sea stars, a shrimp-eating swell shark, and over 50 colorful new sea slugs.

Dr. Terrence Gosliner, Dean of Science and Research Collections at the California Academy of Sciences and leader of the 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition, was reportedly quoted saying, “The Philippines is one of the hottest of the hotspots for diverse and threatened life on Earth.”

These discoveries will be officially confirmed and described over the coming months, as the scientists use both microscopes and DNA sequencing to analyze their specimens.

The tree-like soft coral reaches heights of up to half a meter and extends all of its polyps at night to feed on plankton
Image Credit: Gary Williams/calacademy.org

Brightly colored mollusk produces powerful toxins to keep potential predators at bay
Image Credit: Terry Gosliner/calacademy.org

Swell sharks, which likely to represent a new species, were collected from a depth of about 2,000 feet
Image Credit: Stephanie Stone/calacademy.org

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